Johnson set to welcome Merkel for final UK visit

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The Chancellor will also address a virtual meeting of the British Cabinet – the first foreign leader to do so since President Bill Clinton addressed Cabinet in 1997, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to make her final official visit to the UK on Friday for talks with the prime minister before she steps down from her post later this year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the German Chancellor will discuss Covid travel restrictions, trade and post-Brexit relations, the BBC reported.

The meeting will take place at the prime minister’s country residence of Chequers, in Buckinghamshire.

The Chancellor will also address a virtual meeting of the British Cabinet – the first foreign leader to do so since President Bill Clinton addressed Cabinet in 1997. Merkel will later visit the Queen at Windsor Castle.

Johnson is expected to announce the creation of an annual £10,000 award for a UK or Germany-based female scientist who has excelled in the field of astrophysics. The medal will be named after Caroline Herschel, a German-born British astrophysicist who was a pioneer in the field.

Chancellor Merkel is herself a scientist by training. She was honoured in 2010 by the Royal Society with the King Charles II Medal, which is awarded to foreign Heads of State or Government who have made an outstanding contribution to furthering scientific research in their country.

“The UK and Germany have a steadfast friendship and a shared outlook on many issues. Our scientists, innovators and industrialists work together every day to make the world a better place,” Johnson, speaking ahead of Merkel’s visit, said.

“Over the 16 years of Chancellor Merkel’s tenure the UK-Germany relationship has been re-energised and re-invigorated for a new era. And the new joint ventures we will agree today will leave a legacy that will last for generations,” he added.

This will be Merkel’s 22nd visit to the UK since taking office in 2005 and is one of a series of farewell trips, with US President Joe Biden among those expected to host her later in the summer, according to BBC report.

Merkel is thought to want to ban all UK tourists from entering the European Union because of concerns over the Delta Covid variant.

Johnson is expected to announce the latest steps towards ending lockdown in England over the next few days, with international travel high on the agenda.

In contrast to Merkel, he said on Thursday that double vaccinations could be a “liberator” as millions of people plan their summer break.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson chairs a Bilateral with the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel at the G7 Leaders Summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Also, Johnson and Merkel are expected to agree a number of new initiatives to expand the links between the UK and Germany across a range of sectors.

It include annual joint meetings of the UK and German Cabinets. This will be the first arrangement of its kind for the UK and an opportunity to share expertise and expand joint working between the governments.

It will also include the establishment of a new UK-German Cultural Dialogue which will meet annually to bring together cultural figures from both the countries and create new opportunities for talented young people.

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